Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Lost in the Line of Duty...!

Bowing out with dignity after 27 Years...
2010’s been a big year for television goodbyes, David Tennant regenerated into Matt Smith in Doctor Who, Gavin & Stacey left our screens for a life of married bliss, and Lost got lost (sorry, couldn’t resist that one). But the biggest loss so far this year is most defiantly the demise of the sublime long running Police Drama The Bill (ITV1).

Cancelled as part of ITV’s rebranding of the Channel, which basically entails getting rid of every Show that isn’t getting as many ratings as The X Factor or has Simon Cowell’s grubby little fingers all over it (he’ll be producing Corrie by next week), last week saw the final ever Episode of The Bill, bowing out after 27 Years on our screens and exactly 2400 Episodes. And thankfully, the Show bowed out with head held high. Most Series Finales prefer to go for the explosive, ‘let’s destroy and kill as many regulars as we can’ route. Not this time though. Instead, The Bill goes down a much cleverer route, telling a controversial and small scale storyline that tackles current issues in our society, much like the Show has done for the last two and a bit decades.

The Bill’s been a staple of British Television for so long, that the idea of the Show off of our screens is a discomforting thought. Whilst the major revamp of the Show last Year was dreadful (changing the Theme Tune...that’s a crime punishable by death in my books), the Show has still managed to be a cut above all the other long running Dramas still taking up valuable oxygen!! The gritty style and writing, combined with some fine acting talent and superb direction has always served the Show well, making it strangely watchable, even if the Show is not really that good that particular week.

The final Episode serves as a great piece of Television – emotional to the max, action packed, intricate and well plotted. A great two finger salute to the ITV bigwigs who axed the Show, this final Episode should go down into the great Books of Television History. ITV should avoid trying to replace it with some kind of great pretender Drama...otherwise they’ll be hearing from me...as I drive the Hi-Jacked Police Car through the Doors of the ITV Studio Building, guns-a-blazing, with the words ‘bring back THE BILL’ scrawled on the sides in felt tip pen!!

In the immortal words of Jim Carver – “OK Matt, let’s do it”.

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